The U.S. and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11
Dr. Salim Yaqub is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his B.A. from the Academy of Art College and his M.A. at San Francisco State University, continuing on to Yale University, where he earned an M. Phil and a Ph.D. in American History. Dr. Yaqub specializes in the History of American Foreign Relations, 20th-Century American Political History, and Modern Middle Eastern History since 1945. Professor Yaqub is the author of Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. His dissertation of this work earned him the John Addison Porter Prize and the George Washington Egleston Prize from Yale University.
01: A Meeting of Two Worlds
An introduction to the themes of increasing American power, indigenous political aspirations, conflicting interests and goals, and growing mutual antagonism sets the stage for World War I.
02: Wilson & the Breakup of the Ottoman Empire
An examination of wartime and postwar American policy shows how Wilson's commitment to an ethnocentrically defined view of national self-determination drove his efforts to shape the postwar settlement in the Middle East.
03: The Interwar Period
A look at American interest in the Middle East between the wars reveals our focus shifting in the 1930s to American interest in Saudi Arabian oil and the increasing activism of American Zionism in response to Hitler's persecution of German Jews.
04: U.S. & the Middle East During World War II
United States entry into World War II alters Americans' conception of the Middle East, whose geopolitical orientation is now seen as vital to American security.
05: Origins of the Cold War in the Middle East
Three Cold War crises culminate in the issuing of the Truman Doctrine-which would guide U.S. Cold War policy for a generation-while the evolution of U.S.-Saudi relations produces a formal pledge to defend that nation from possible Soviet attack.
06: Truman & the Creation of Israel
A look at competing explanations for Truman's support for Israel's creation and its consequences includes the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the resulting decline in America's reputation in the Arab world.
07: Eisenhower, the Cold War & the Middle East
President Eisenhower's responses to the challenge of Middle Eastern nationalists include a successful effort to overthrow the regime of Muhammad Mossadeq in Iran and a less successful effort to arrest the drift of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser toward the Soviet orbit.
08: The Suez Crisis & Arab Nationalism
Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal and the ensuing crisis-with Great Britain, France, and Israel invading Egypt-marks a crucial turning point, with the United States replacing Great Britain as the preeminent western power in the Middle East.
09: Kennedy-Engaging Middle Eastern Nationalism
This is an examination of President Kennedy's attempt to deemphasize Cold War themes in U.S. policy toward the Middle East. Paradoxically, the strategy initially improves America's Cold War position, but leaves a far less promising situation to Kennedy's successor.
10: Johnson-Taking Sides
Kennedy's efforts to strike a balance between competing interests with respect to Iran, Nasserist Egypt, and Israel are abandoned by Lyndon Johnson, who openly takes sides in all three policy areas.
11: The Six-Day War
The 1967 war dramatically alters the political, strategic, and psychological landscape of the Middle East with the diplomatic and political fallout of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and a devastating impact on Nasserist Arab nationalism.
12: The Nixon Doctrine & the Middle East
Nixon relies on regional "cops on the beat" to protect American interests, while initially keeping the Arab-Israeli conflict on a separate policy track. But Israel, too, soon becomes an American ally within the meaning of the Doctrine.
13: The Yom Kippur War & Kissinger's Diplomacy
An examination of America's response to this 1973 war includes Egypt's and Syria's divergent aims, Kissinger's diplomatic efforts during and after the war, and the legacy of that diplomacy for future peacemaking.
14: Carter & Camp David
A thorough look at President Jimmy Carter's efforts to broker an Arab-Israeli peace settlement examines an assessment of the Camp David process and the divergent ways in which Arabs, Israelis, and Americans have interpreted that experience.
15: The Iranian Revolution & the Hostage Crisis
A quarter-century of simmering resentment against the U.S. boils over in revolution, topples the shah, sets the stage for a prolonged hostage crisis, and virtually ensures the outcome of an American election.
16: Era of Limits-Energy Crises of the 1970s
The oil shocks of the 1970s are strongly felt in the West, but also force changes that eventually bring the oil-producing nations of the Middle East face to face with a hard new reality.
17: The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
The Soviets' 1979 invasion of Afghanistan has far-reaching implications for both the Soviet Union and the U.S., whose support for an Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union attracts tens of thousands of young men to the struggle, including a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden.
18: Reagan & the Middle East
This look at President Reagan's policies pays close attention to his efforts to contain militant Islam, especially in Lebanon, and includes the Marine barracks bombing, the highjacking of TWA Flight 847, and the arms-for-hostages machinations of Irangate.
19: The First Palestinian Intifada
A detailed examination of the American response to the first Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip discusses the American revival of the Arab-Israeli peace process and the involvement of the PLO.
20: The Gulf War
A look at the first Bush administration's response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 includes America's "tilt" toward Iraq in the war against Iran, the events and implications of Operation Desert Storm, and the controversial end to the conflict.
21: The Rise & Fall of the Oslo Peace Process
An examination of the origins of the Israeli-PLO direct talks looks in depth at the terms of their preliminary agreement, the conflicting explanations for why the process ultimately failed, and what happened in its wake.
22: The United States & the Kurds
This lecture traces American relations with this single Middle Eastern people over a long period of time, examining who they are and the role of their aspirations in our own involvement in the Middle East.
23: The United States & Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden's emergence in the 1990s as a sponsor of anti-American terrorism begins with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and continues with his formation of the al-Qa'ida network, its escalating campaign, the Clinton administration's sporadic efforts to counter it, and the ambivalent position of the Saudi government.
24: September 11 & Its Aftermath
A look at the events of September 11, their aftermath, and Washington's immediate reaction brings the series to a conclusion at the beginning of 2002 and discusses the implications a more ambitious strategic agenda may have for subsequent U.S. policy toward the Middle East.